Georgia softball chopped down at Florida State in Super Regional opener, 8-1
The No 3-seeded Seminoles beat the 14-seeded Bulldogs by a 8-1 count, pushing Georgia to the brink of elimination.
The Bulldogs (42-14) must win at Florida State (54-9) in the 8 p.m. game on Friday (TV: ESPN2) to force a decisive third game on Saturday in this NCAA Super Regional in Tallahassee, Fla.
UGA pitcher Madison Kerpics (19-7) took the loss, and the Seminoles also chased Shelby Walters out of the circle, scoring four runs in two innings off the Duke transfer.
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Georgia second-year coach Tony Baldwin said during his in-game interview that his team had the right kind of fight to compete with the ACC Champion Seminoles.
“They’re resilient,” Baldwin said. “It’s their ability to answer back and play the game until the ends, and that’s the beauty of competition.”
Baldwin is renowned as one of the top hitting coaches in the nation, and four times, UGA put its leadoff runner on base.
Georgia, however, was 0-for-11 hitting once runners were on base.
“There’s a runner at second and nobody out in the first inning, and we don’t do anything,” Baldwin noted in the postgame. “Good softball says you don’t need any hits to score that run.”
“They are a really good offense, so it’s taking in that compete mode,” Sandercock said, asked how she shutdown the Bulldogs’ at the plate, “It’s one of those offenses where you never get comfortable, so i can’t say I was in a groove.”
“They are a really good offense, so it’s taking in that compete mode,” Sanderock said, asked how she shutdown the Bulldogs’ at the plate, “It’s one of those offenses where you never get comfortable, so i can’t say I was in a groove.”
Baldwin noted his team had its chances to make a game of it amid a raucous environment that saw an overflowing crowd watching the game from a parking deck near the stadium.
“We’ve put some good at-bats together, but situationally we’ve missed some opportunities,” Baldwin said. “She’s a really good pitcher, she does’t give you many, so you have to capitalize on the ones you get.”
Georgia wasn’t at its best defensively, either. A couple of the infielders appeared a step slow at times, as some Florida State hits appeared playable, squirting under UGA gloves.
NCAA tournament host teams have won their respective Super Regional 73 percent of the time, per ESPN, and teams that have won the first game of a Super Regional have advance to the Women’s College World Series 81 percent of the time.
Georgia’s most recent appearance at the WCWS was in 2021, with seven of the current players on the team.
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